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Emily Barletta

Enchanting… I stumbled upon the work of Emily Barletta for the first time yesterday as I roamed the web clicking from one blogroll to the next and ultimately landing on her blog and then her website. Wow. It was worth the journey. I’m still trying to recover from the explosion of beauty…


I know some of you will think this stuff is pretty ‘out there’ but I love contemporary art (esp. fiber art) and have to share Emily’s work with you just because. These crochet and embroidered pieces are not only stunning, but are obviously designed from the heart as I can’t even imagine the level of skill and time it would take to construct them. You have to love what you’re doing to create art so captivating and detailed.


Emily lives and works in Brooklyn and seems to have a lot going on this year if you’d like to catch her work live here’s her schedule. These creations remind me of sea life, the materials and organic shapes, it’s all so interesting to view up close on her site. I’d love to frame a smaller work of hers, I like three dimensional art and think it adds an unexpected twist to the walls, especially since most of the work currently on display in the average home consists of prints and paintings.

If you’d like to know more about her, My Love For You interviewed her recently right here. Please take a moment to read it, it’s quite fascinating. And Emily if you’re reading this, your work touched me today and I’m sure many decor8 readers will enjoy seeing it as well, thank you for putting yourself and your art out there for all to see, what you’re doing really does matter though you may at times doubt it or find blogging a chore it really does make a difference so keep pressing forward! (Yes, I read your rant about blogging.)

(images from emily barletta)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on April 15, 2008

Restless Things {Olivia Jeffries}

Olivia Jeffries just released 4 limited edition prints today in the Restless Things Shop, all are signed and ready to go. Of course, these are in addition to her current works, which are equally enchanting…

I’ve talked about her on decor8 before but in case you’re new here, Olivia obtained her BA in Printmaking and Photomedia from the Norwich School of Art and Design in the UK. She’s currently pursuing exhibition opportunities both nationally and internationally, so if you are a store or gallery coordinating an event please contact her directly. I’d love to see her work visit us here in New England! Olivia also maintains a blog so her fans can keep up with her, it’s called Sweet as a Loon Bird.

(images from olivia jeffries)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, walls on April 14, 2008

Diana Brennan Photography – 10% Discount

I really like photographer Diana Brennan. She’s an interesting, sweet and all around genuine person. She’s a nature lover too, like so many of us. Her photos are a study of natural history as she shoots in museums and I find them so interesting, I even grabbed my husband and showed him her photos because her subject matter isn’t typical and I like that it sets her apart from the pack. It made me think of natural history museums as a bit more of an exciting place to spend an afternoon too. I plan to bring my camera and use the lens as a more creative way to view displays going forward.


Last Fall I was at the Landesmuseum in Hannover and saw an amazing exhibit that I liked so much that I stayed in the exhibition hall for nearly 2 hours just gazing into the display cases. I wish I had taken photos and I remember being annoyed that I had forgotten my trust camera as I stood there amidst so many inspiring displays. If you’re in Hannover anytime soon the exhibit runs until May and is called Fantastische Riesen und bizarre Zwerge – Fr?chte und Samen der Sammlung Erika Schmidt which was all about large and small seed pods found all over the world curated by Prof. Dr. Erika Schmidt from the Institut f?r Landschaftsarchitektur in Dresden. I think if Diana Brennan could see this exhibit she’d be moved to photograph it for her own collection of photos because the seed pods, illustrations, and watercolors were amazing. I had never been so moved at a natural history museum before.



If you are interested in Diana’s work, she’s offering decor readers an exclusive 10% discount if you mention decor8 during checkout in the comments box. At that point, you’ll need to wait a few moments and Diana will send you a revised invoice (of how I wish Etsy would allow stores to create discount codes!).

Thank you Diana for sharing your fascinating and wonderful photography.

(images from diana brennan)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, walls on April 11, 2008

What To Do… {part two}

I’ve been dying to sit down all week to continue our discussion, “What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do“, about how to find your calling as a creative type. I’m so pleased to know that you’re following along because I’m confident that you’ll walk away inspired no matter where you stand on your current path. Thank you for making time to read this.


I’m a believer in the power of many voices, which is why I’ve gathered opinions from artists, designers, bloggers, and other creative types over the past week, voices I find motivating and genuine, people I respect and look to as good examples because let’s face it, good examples are not always as easy to find as bad ones. What To Do… offers ideas and tips on how to find your calling from people who applied their own advice and found success. I’m sure their personal experiences will be of value and perhaps one of their voices will connect with you on a personal level and if so, I encourage you to comment and get involved in the discussion because your comments are as important as the blog posts themselves.

Before we get started I’d like to make a few things clear…

This series isn’t about bashing corporate America or to say that working for others in general isn’t a good choice. Often you can find your calling within corporate America and be quite happy there. Just because someone left their job to work for themselves doesn’t make them better or more enlightened than the person who decided to stay in their job. Even when you are your own boss you work for others. A freelance writer has obligations to their editors. An artist to their vendors. A designer to their clients. And when it comes to corporate America let’s face it, if larger companies didn’t exist here in America then smaller ones couldn’t function the same because we’re all part of a larger wheel, one economics class will teach you all you need to know about that. The canvas you buy to paint was born in a factory. I’m willing to bet that your paints came from a large corporate supplier as well. Those brushes too. We ultimately rely on the large and the small as a society. It’s not depressing, it’s just how things work.

I don’t believe that everyone needs to leave their job to pursue their own business. In fact I think that the freelance bubble will eventually burst just as the dot com era ended. Many who currently leave good jobs to freelance will not find success for one reason or another. In time the market in their new field will become saturated because the current, “there’s enough for everyone” mentality will ultimately, and unfortunately, prove flawed. Look at how graphic designers and even writers and photographers are starting to struggle due to all the newcomers soaking up current and potential clients. Some markets can only take so much. I didn’t see this a year ago but it’s crystal clear to me now that I have a few years of freelancing under my belt. There is enough if you are pursuing something as a hobby though so if you find you can’t earn a living doing what you love it doesn’t mean to throw away your passion. Make time to pursue it alongside of your day job.

I’m not a therapist nor am I a career counselor. Neither are any of the friends that I’ve invited to join us with their thoughts. This series is simply meant to encourage you and get those wheels turning, nothing more.

What To Do…
is meant to encourage and support everyone, especially if you’re looking to find your calling. Only you can decide whether or not to turn your passion into profits or to pursue them as a hobby to balance and fulfill you. I don’t encourage anyone to tell the boss to stick it and run off with passion to join the circus or be the next big thing in the design world. That choice can only be made by you. Just promise me that you won’t become a bearded lady or a clown because I’ve always been quite afraid of both. :)

It’s smart to explore all the options before taking the leap and to hear how others found success doing what they love for a living. It’s a delicate balance. One point to ponder is that perhaps you’re a great painter but if you were to quit your job to become one full-time you may fall flat. Sometimes the moment money mixes with something we love we can lose our passion, of course it depends on personality type. The stress of earning a living can negatively impact our work or how we view the very thing we once found comfort and joy in. Now when we sit down to paint, we’re not thinking of translating our feelings and ideas onto a canvas for the sheer fun of it, instead we may paint in a certain way using the more popular motifs for instance, to gain recognition and customers, to earn more money, or to see how our competition may react. For this reason and more, you have to consider all things before you embark on a career that involves earning a living from doing what you love.

If you’re just jumping in on this conversation and are a bit confused please read these two posts below so you can catch up. What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do and What To Do {part 1}.

So with that, let’s start with our first guest to speak on the topic… Stay tuned.

(image from ez at creature comforts gussied up by holly becker)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, small business, what to do on April 11, 2008

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Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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